Farm-to-Table, Redefined: Introducing the New Botanica Organic Garden & Chef’s Table at Secret Bay

In the realm of plant-based cuisine, innovation knows no bounds. It’s a journey that continually challenges the limits of our understanding of food, flavors and the culinary experience. At Secret Bay, this very philosophy takes on a remarkable new dimension with the introduction of the Botanica Organic Garden and Chef’s Table — our newest amenity nestled in Secret Bay’s rainforest.

Here, dining becomes a unique voyage where the act of eating is intertwined with the pulse of nature. Secret Bay is on a mission to raise awareness about the benefits of plant-based diets and eco-minded living, and by offering this immersive new experience — which is $100 USD per person and includes a three-course meal and bottle of wine — we hope to ‘wow’ the pallet while contributing to broader conversations about health and environmental sustainability.

To learn more, we sat down with Executive Chef Damith Ranaweera and Botanist Chef Jenefer Marcos Espero who reveal the story behind these new offerings and what guests might expect from this true nature-to-table experience — from foraging along the trail to watching the chef create right before your eyes.

Where are the new Botanica Organic Garden and Chef’s Table located at Secret Bay?

Start from the Welcome Concierge, cross the Cario River on a pedestrian bridge and walk through the jungle alongside the riverbank to Botanica, where you will discover flora and fauna distinct to Secret Bay, a lush nature trail and the open-air Chef’s Table. Here, our team will prepare a deletable plant-based meal using freshly harvested ingredients from the garden.

What inspired these new offerings?

We’re always trying to find new and authentic ways to enhance our guest experience. This interactive nature walk and dining adventure provides a distinctive opportunity for guests to taste the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown on the island. This not only reduces our reliance on imported items, but it also creates a special culinary experience that’s nutritious, educational and absolutely unique.

Can you tell us more about how foraging plays a role in the culinary experience at the Chef’s Table?

Much of what’s prepared at the Chef’s Table is grown and foraged in the Botanica Organic Garden itself. On their way to the Chef’s Table, guests will walk along the nature trail where they’ll witness some of the foraging taking place — depending on which plants, fruits and vegetables are in season at the time.

Our guides will point out the various plants and fruit trees so guests can gain an understanding on where some of the ingredients in their meals come from. Guests may even get in on some of the foraging activities if they spot plants on the way that the Chef plans to use in their meals!

Can you highlight some unique flora and fauna that guests might encounter during the nature walk?

Along the garden nature trail you’ll find hibiscus, cacao trees, breadfruit trees, flamboyant trees, the African tulip and dasheen.

Are there any particular foraged ingredients that are frequently used in your dishes?

Breadfruit, shado beni, sweet potatoes, dasheen, lime, spearmint, plantain, ginger, rosemary, thyme, seasoning peppers, banana, lemon grass, guava and cacao, and much more.

How do you ensure the sustainability of the environment, especially when guests are foraging?

We have a team that looks after foraging areas to ensure sustainability and that the plant populations on property remain healthy.

Can guests request specific foraged items to be included in their meals?


How does the Cario River’s ecosystem inspire your dishes?

The river provides a source of life-giving water to many of our plants. The fresh, cool-flowing water inspires many of the natural plant-based dishes we create.

Why do you think eating outdoors in nature elevates the dining experience?

Our Chef’s Table provides a unique outdoor experience where you’re surrounded by the plants that provide many of the unique flavors we will create for you. Eating outdoors next to the flowing river, flora and fauna creates a dining experience that immerses you in nature like no other.

Can you share a sneak peek of some of the dishes guests might enjoy?

Guests can expect everything from bell pepper carpaccio to watermelon ceviche, roasted beetroot dasheen, joumou pumpkin steak, vegan carrot cake and so much more.

Learn more about Secret Bay’s innovative six-star amenities here.

Clockwise: STARTER WATERMELON CEVICHE Marinated watermelon, fermented sorrel, seasoning peppers, fresh parsley, onion pickles, cucumber, sweet potato tuiles; MAIN TEXTURE OF BREADFRUIT Roasted, ragu, chips, veloute; DESSERT DELECTABLE BEETROOT Beetroot cake, vanilla cashew cream and passion fruit sorbet

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